Wednesday, January 30, 2013

You Are Enough

I have an obsession with documentaries. I like them all, but I really enjoy them if they're about our food supply, nutrition, dieting, or the like. This lead me to watch American the Beautiful and American the Beautiful 2. The first is about the American obsession with beauty and the second about our obsession with our weight and dieting. In the first one the filmmaker interviews a woman who has an elective plastic surgery and takes over an hour to wake from her anesthesia. He said when he left he called every man that he knows and told them to call every woman that they know and tell them that they are beautiful just the way they are. Now, he wasn't making judgments on people who choose elective plastic surgery, and neither am I. There are all sorts of reasons one may do something like that. Heck there are cases where I might consider it. But his point in making those phone calls was to hopefully spread the word that we are enough just the way we are.

This blog has been devoted to my weight loss journey and my attempts at minimizing my life and being kinder to the planet. There's nothing wrong with wanting to improve your life. I'd be lying to you if I said that the only reason I want to lose weight is to be healthy. I have a big stack of jeans in my closet that I was wearing this time last year and I do beat myself up because I can't wear them now. I received a gift card to Victoria's Secret for Christmas this year and I went in there last night with the intentions of using it. I left empty handed and rather depressed. Honestly there are very few mannequins and only a few pictures of models wearing the items in the store. So it wasn't like I was bombarded with images of photoshopped women who made me feel like I could never look like they do in the items. The fact is, I don't need that. I know what I look like and I know that it doesn't make me totally happy. I have made improvements over the years and I am proud of those. But I do want more. I will never have a models body and I have enough stretch marks to look like a tiger. But I have the ability to achieve a body that would make me happier. It's OK to want that and it is OK to try to achieve it. I don't hate who I am, but I don't love it either and I think its acceptable to want to work to a place where I do love it. But even if I don't love it, I do have to appreciate it and know that I need this body. I have to treat it with respect.

In America the Beautiful 2 he interviewed people who lost weight in a variety of ways, people who suffer from eating disorders, and a woman who I would classify as an obsessive exerciser. The variety of observations he made in those people, and things I have observed in people in my own life lead me to one conclusion. This is the only body I get. It doesn't look like I want it to right now, but it is enough. I am a single mother. My kids have a great father and step-mother, but they need their mother too. No matter what I want my body to look like I will always respect it. I have standards I would like to achieve. I do want to look a certain way, but I will NOT take a path that risks my health. Anyone who loves me will take me as I am right now, and anyone who loves you will take you as you are. No matter what you want to look like, no matter what someone else says about how you look, never ever do anything to risk your life for the sake of weight loss or beauty.

It's OK to want things for yourself. But look in the mirror and tell yourself that if you never look any different than you do right now YOU ARE ENOUGH!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Eat to Live Day #8

Nothing new to report really, and I know the daily food posts can get boring, so I think I'm going to go for more of a weekly update on this now. I did find a message board for the program that is free and I'm really wanting to buy some of his other materials but it isn't in the budget right now. I do plan to join his site once I have the money for that because I know that the extra support from other doing it who post frequently will help me a lot.

My mother is doing this as well and we both feel so good that today we discussed how hard it is not to just shout it from the rooftops and tell everyone you know who is suffering from something that could be cured or alleviated with this type of diet. But if there's one thing I've learned from my leader training at WW it is that you cannot convert everyone and you can shut people down if you aren't careful. People will make a change in their diet when weight loss (or better health) is in their top five priorities and if they aren't there, you can't make them be. It's hard though. We both have friends who suffer from varieties of conditions and while we can't prove that they would feel better, we know it is possible and wish they'd give it a try. So, as I did with WW if I continue to feel this good, and hopefully look better, then perhaps others will ask me what I'm doing and be motivated to try it too. I did finally share it with a closer group of people and there was some interest so we'll see. Fact is, everyone is different and everyone has to find their own path to health.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Eat to Live Day #7

Well it has been a full week on Eat to Live now and I must say...I'm impressed. I got up late this morning, so breakfast wasn't until about 9:30. I did the oatmeal again with a little less water, one apple, and some walnuts and it was perfect. I had grand plans for errand running, but they didn't work out the way I had hoped so I ended up back home at 12:45 instead of making it to the gym before lunch. I had my heart set on a taco salad, but got home and realized I was out of fake meat. So, I ran to the store and picked up that and a bunch of other fun stuff, and lunch was a HUGE taco salad with mostly lettuce, peppers, onions, avocado, fake meat, and salsa. I also crumbled about five baked scoops over it for crunch. Normally I would have had cheese and sour cream on it too so that was a big step. I also had three kiwi and a peppermint patty (I'm not totally cured of the chocolate thing).

After lunch was settled I had a kick ass workout at the gym. I jogged for 20 minutes, lifted and did kettlebells between my sets for about 30 minutes, then did a 20 minute fat burner workout on the step mill. I felt fantastic during my workout and wasn't even remotely hungry when I got home. I just had dinner at 6 which was a half a can of green beans, a cup and a half of spaghetti squash and my pita sandwich with avocado. My addiction to avocado is starting to be a problem ;). I also had two kiwi.

Normally I try to weigh myself only once a week, but I'm so curious with this program that I weighed again this morning and I was down another 1.6. I am a little worried about my lack of green vegetable intake and my massive consumption of avocado so I'm going to try to do something about that this week. I can't say enough how much I love that I'm not starving all the time and craving junk. That's what I really wanted out of this program and so far it is working.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Eat to Live Day #6

OK Day 6 went pretty good with a few slip ups here and there (still getting used to it). Breakfast was a recipe from his book for oatmeal. I made it without the raisins and walnuts and it was SO much food. When I stopped I probably had about an apple still left in the bowl. Tomorrow I'm going to make it with one apple, the walnuts, and just a little less water. I did have a 100 calorie pack of almonds and walnuts a little later.

Lunch was around 11:30 and I had a pita with half an avocado, tomato, lettuce and onion. I also had a huge salad with peppers, onions, black beans, and balsamic vinaigrette and some strawberries. Thanks to the pushy lady at Costco I ended up bringing home some Popchips last night and needless to say that some time after lunch I had a few of those as well.

Now normally I am starving by 3:00 and couldn't possibly workout without eating. By 5:00 my boys were picked up by their dad and I had a 100 calorie pack of walnuts and almonds because I was just starting to feel like I might not get through my workout if I didn't eat something. Well the gym was busy so I did about 20 minutes of jogging on the treadmill and then came home and did a 20 minute full body weight workout from a Bob Harper DVD. I had planned to do a lot more than that or I wouldn't have had the nuts. But by 6:45 I was pretty hungry so dinner was a repeat of my lunch pita, about a cup and a half of spaghetti squash, a full can of green beans, and two kiwi.

I am amazed that I was able to wait that long without eating and I wasn't even that horrible sick kind of hungry that I normally am when I get home after an evening workout. I don't know what my weight loss will be this week, but I love how I feel. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Eat to Live Day 4 & 5

Sorry for my failure to update yesterday. The kids were out of school for a snow day and I sort of fell off the wagon. I didn't eat my normal breakfast because I was being lazy and so that started me off on a long hungry day. Then I had a crappy dinner and just didn't feel great. Today was good until dinner when I had a piece of pizza from Costco and some popchips. So, overall the past two days kind of stunk. However, I weighed in today and I'm down two pounds. That's pretty good for me and I know if I had followed the plan to the letter I would have lost even more. The snow day allowed me to clean house and get caught up on some work. I thought we were going to another wrestling tournament tomorrow, but it was cancelled due to snow. So with the exception of a little bit of work, I'm done with everything that had to get done this weekend. I stocked up on food at Costco this evening and I will have the time to sit down and really plan out and prepare what I'm going to eat this week. I'm excited and loving this!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Eat to Live Day #3

OK, it has only been three days, but so far I am loving this. This morning I went to the gym early. I don't have time to eat anything before I go so by the end of my workout my stomach is usually growling and I feel a little sick. This morning I felt like I could eat soon, but I didn't feel like I had to get something in there before I fainted. I didn't notice any difference in my workout performance. Breakfast was green tea with stevia, three kiwi, 100 calorie pack of natural almonds, and a banana. I felt pretty good until lunch, but I think on days when I work out in the morning I should probably eat just a little bit more. Lunch was sort of a fail, but not totally. I brought some steamable snow peas and a pita sandwich with avacado, tomato, onions and lettuce. The peas were just gross. I like them normally, but they just weren't good quality. So I dumped those and went to my co-op for a salad. All good there except for a few croutons, and I'm not sure about the dressing. I picked a vinaigrette, but I don't know the ingredients. I also had an apple, and some (yes sweet) tea. I was totally stuffed though. After work I went to get the boys, and to the store. I was still feeling good when I got home. I made a black bean soup and a repeat of the sandwich I had at lunch. Unfortunately I had some baked scoops with my soup and a Weight Watchers snack size ice cream bar. It's only day three though so I'm not going to beat myself up too bad. Last night I went to the store to replace my food processor that I knocked off my counter. I was looking for something $50 or less to get me through until I can save up for a really good one. I found one for $30 and was feeling good. Then I spotted a juicer on clearance for $24. I don't really like drinking things I could chew, but I thought it might be handy for when I'm just not in the mood to eat a ton of vegetables, and that the boys would like it. So I got a recommendation from a friend about what to try first, and got started. Helpful note, put the pulp catcher on before started. I shot spinach all over my counter, and juice ran everywhere when I moved it to out it on. As you can see...the first time was a fail.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Eat to Live Day #2

I didn't think I would like eating fruit and nuts for breakfast, but it is already growing on me. I did cheat and have a small slice of the pizza again, but aside from that this morning I had three kiwi, a banana, and a 100 calorie back of natural almonds. I also had green tea with stevia because it is freezing today. I had that around 8:00 and with my normal breakfast of a bagel thin with laughing cow cream cheese, and greek yogurt with fruit I'm normally starving by 10:00. At 10 today I was still feeling good. Also, the frequent trips to the bathroom have already slowed down. Lunch was a huge salad with romaine, spinach, peppers, olives black beans and onions. I used balsamic vinegar and lemon juice for dressing. I also had a green giant snow peas, potatoes and pepper combination in a light sauce. The box is four PP on Weight Watchers, and while I know it isn't totally approved because it has the sauce, I want to use up the things I already have. I also had a banana. I didn't end up finishing the whole salad because it was so big. Normally by 3:00 I am starving again and if I don't eat something before going to the gym after work I will feel faint while working out. Today, I was fine all the way through the rest of the day and my workout. I even went to the store afterward and still didn't feel like I normally do. I did eat the last two (and I should have mentioned, these are not normal size slices, they are very thin) pieces of pizza for dinner along with some veggies, quinoa, and a banana. Clearly I should have skipped the pizza and had more veggies because I got hungry later and had an apple. So far the withdraw feelings are very minimal. I did allow myself one diet soda today, but I really didn't want another one. I also walked through the bakery at the store and only had a mild desire for a donut (and donuts are a huge temptation for me). I had a lot of energy and didn't feel like I just had to have certain foods. I hope things continue like this but I have a feeling I could still have some cravings ahead. I'm going to start trying some of the recipes from the book so that I don't get burnt out fast eating salads.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Eat to Live Day #1

Well today was supposed to be my official start on Eat to Live, but it was a fail. I spent all weekend at wrestling tournaments with my sons and was not adequately prepared for today. I did the best I could this morning, but I was just so exhausted that I fell off the wagon. Breakfast started out good. I had a 100 calorie pack of natural almonds, three kiwi, a banana and some pomegranate seeds. I also had some green tea with stevia. Two things here, I forgot I really only like pomegranate mixed in other things, and eating a breakfast like that when you're not used to it will make you pee about a million times. I am sure my co-workers thought something was wrong with me. Lunch was a hummus, swiss, sprout and cucumber sandwich on a bagel, a banana, and two clementines. I was offered lunch and the company was too good to pass up :) Dinner was where things went south. I was starving and while I knew this was normal, I was too tired to fight through it. I had stir fry veggies, fake chicken and quinoa...but I also had a piece of my sons pizza. I plan to get the boys on this way of eating as well, but I need to finish the book Fuhrman wrote for children because their plan can't be as strict. So, tonight it was all about fast. We also had banana/peanut butter "ice cream" for dessert. A few observations from what I did accomplish today. The breakfast was good. I didn't really start to feel like eating until lunch time. Lunch needs a lot more veggies to keep me going until dinner. My head did hurt after lunch but I'm also trying to quit Coke Zero at the same time so I think it was a combination of withdraw symptoms. I'm really tired tonight, but I think that's residual from the weekend and my lack of sleep. Hopefully I do a better job tomorrow. Oh and learning to cook would help.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Eat to Live

I have finished reading Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss, Revised Edition by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, and I must say that I am impressed. Before I was even halfway through I went ahead and ordered Disease-Proof Your Child: Feeding Kids Right because I knew that this was something I wanted to start my kids on, but that the plan would be different. There's a very high family history of prostate cancer on their dad's side and I want to do everything in my power to lower their risk. I think Dr. Fuhrman can lower our risk for just about everything. I don't suffer from any of the diseases he had had success in eliminating in his patients (aside from my weight and anything I might not be aware of) but I am excited to see how this program will impact my weight, my food cravings and obsession, and the few annoying things I think could possibly go away with this form of eating. Tonight I found a girl on YouTube that has been having some great success without even following his plan to the letter so I am encouraged. Her detox period kind of scared me, but from other things I've read her's sounds a bit more extreme than most. I plan to start adding the foods in more and more over the next few days but we're at wrestling tournaments all weekend and I don't want to try to start when I'm going to be away from home. So my official start will be Monday. I'm going to weigh tomorrow at my gym because they have a scale that measures BMI as well as weight and I have taken measurements and before pictures. I am considering doing a weekly video, but we'll see how that goes. I'm scared, I'm excited...I'll let you know!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ready for Radical

A few posts back I said I was sort of at my wits end with my weight. I'm tired of losing and gaining the same pounds, tired of being hungry all the time, tired of the effort of it all. At the time I was considering posting pictures of myself to perhaps shame me into doing something about it once and for all. I still may do that if I get the courage. But this has to be it. I have to find a way to achieve the weight loss that I want without the constant mental anguish I experience. I've been a vegetarian for a few years now, and while I'm not a very good vegetarian in that I eat too much garbage, I do feel better since eliminating the meat. Oddly enough I was often anemic before going veg and now whenever I donate blood I'm always good. I know the benefits of a good vegetarian diet, and I've wanted to go vegan for a long time but have been sort of hesitant to dive in. I think now's the time. Right before Christmas when Amazon was having all of their sales I bought a copy of Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Eat to Live. It was an impulse purchase because something in the description stuck out to me. But, due to my sever addiction to books, I got it, and put it on my shelf as something to read later. Then I heard he was going to be on Dr. Oz. I watched the videos from the show, and started reading the book. I'm halfway through and I must say, I believe him. His book speaks to everything I've been reading and seeing about a plant based life, and the success stories on his website are the kind of thing you have to see to believe. I don't have all of the illnesses (or if I do, I am not aware) that many of his followers have been cured of following his advice, but I know that so many people that I know would benefit from even following it halfway. It's radical when you compare it to the standard American diet. Little to no animal products, living off beans, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. But, as doctor Esselstyn says in Forks Over Knives...having your chest divided, and a vein removed from your leg for a bypass is pretty darn extreme too. I think I'll try Fuhrman's approach. I'm scared. It's a change, and I know that a nasty detox period may be in store for me. But I'm tired of the body I'm living in not serving me the way that it should, and I'm ready to help it do that. A friend of mine on Facebook told me that he follows a similar approach for two meals a day and that he's seen positive results. He's an athlete and if he can do this and see his abilities improve then I'm sold. Now what about Weight Watchers you say? I still maintain that WW is a fantastic program. I lost from 213 to 160 on WW, and gained back to 175 when I went off of it. It is still the method I encourage people to follow to change their life, because most people starting a weight loss journey cannot go to the extreme without backsliding. WW made me look at food in a whole new way, but it only works if you do it, and right now, my heart is in a different place. I need something new. I'll let you know how its going.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Theme Song for 2013

At the start of every year I like to pick a "theme song" for the year. Usually its a song that I hear within the first few days of the new year and it speaks to me in some way. I just use it as a motivator throughout the year. I ran my fastest 5K in 2012 on the 4th of July. The race sponsor made a video of shots from the race and put a song with it called On Top of the World by Imagine Dragons. The posted the video on Facebook again the other day to remind us that its only six months away and I was reminded of how much I love the song. So, here's the video with the song!

Valley 4th RUN 2012 from Chris Meyers on Vimeo.